The fact that I can come up wih more than ten on this list says that my beloved city is a big boiling pot of mess. Don't get me wrong, Marawi will always be home to me, but there are things about it that I wish were not there.


1. Drugs



In the early 90s, when the word s-h-a-b-u was unheard of, I remember as a child, my parents weren't very over-protective. We were allowed to play with the children in the neighborhood until dusk. Now at 27, my mother texts me when I am not yet home at 5PM. Since the 90s when selling illegal drugs has been rampant, the rise of criminality has also risen. I live in the barangay adjacent to the infamous drug dens of Marawi. Everyday I get to come accross strange men looking, well, strange. It frustrates me that the fight against drugs in Marawi is close to inexistent. I should know, no big fish has been caught yet.

2. Criminality


Marawi is where gunning down of innocent people in the streets in broad daylight is not a surprise anymore. Marawi is where kidnapping is an occupation. Marawi is where murder cases remain unsolved. Marawi is where people put the law into their hands in the name of justice. Marawi is where I don't feel safe.

3. Trash


It was Ramadhan of 2014 when my first cousins who grew up in Saudi spent a month with us. Every night we go to the mosque together. One night as we were walking to Barrio Paypay to buy after-Taraweh snacks, my cousin who was around 10 that time remarked how dirty Marawi is. Coming form Saudi, he sure knows what he was saying. The problem is there is no real system in disposing garbage. If there is, then it is not being implemented. Moreover, we don't have specific places in every barangay that is designated for trash disposal. So people will just leave bags of unsegregated garbage in the sidewalk hoping that the garbage collectors get them.


4. Unsanitary market


Our market, which we call Padian, is unorganized and stinky. The wet goods are not separate from the dry goods. Fish is being sold practically in every cranny, by the sidewalk, where there is no water supply. Thus the stink that sucks the soul out of everyone.

5. Traffic


Marawi is a small city with small streets and an overwhelming huge volume of cars composed of big bossy Fortuners and unruly pedicabs. The result is a mind-numbing slow traffic at certain intersections like in Plaza Cabili, Sarimanok, Barrio Naga, Perez St., and Mapandi. It is aggravated by cars that are parked on both sides of the streets, narrowing the roads even more. Last but not the least, we don't follow traffic rules in Marawi. The more flashy you car is, the more cocky you can be. Why will you give way for a multicab when you are riding a Hilux?

6. Pedicab drivers who are minors


There are so many pedicabs in Marawi. They are the kings of the road here, not the jeepney. And a large chunk of pedicab drivers are below legal age. Some are as young as 12. I can only wonder at how their small bodies can control the powerful machine they are operating. I also wonder if they were given any screening at all, or at least a briefing on traffic laws. Not only is it unsafe to have 12-year old pedicab drivers on our streets, their lack of skills and knowledge on traffic rules also contribute to the problem on traffic.

7. Frequent power interruptions


Prior to rotating brownouts that are being implemented by NGCP these days, residents of Marawi have grown accustomed to brownouts. It's ironic, we live so close to the largest source of energy in Mindanao--Lake Lanao--yet we get the worst of it. I can't remember a long span of time when we enjoyed uninterrupted power. It has always been like this, "dancing light".

8. The day ends when it gets dark


After 6PM, it is not recommendable to be still out and about in Marawi. For safety reasons. Thus, we don't have night schools and other establishments that operate at night, Thus, we don't enjoy any leisure activity at night. No cafes, no restaurants, no night shopping.

9. Slow mobile internet


If the speed of mobile internet are to be measured in all cities, Marawi has the slowest of them all, I bet. As an internet native, I feel like I waste so much time refreshing pages and turning the wifi on and off again. It's difficult to be productive in Marawi.

10. Shabby government offices


I haven't gone to any government office in Marawi that seems active and productive. Most of the offices have only a few employees sitting around gossiping. I also don't understand why the offices are shabby. Is there no budget for maintainance and operating expenses? How can you work in offices without proper lighting?

11. Topsy-turvy tarpaulins


I don't condemn putting up a few tarpaulins. We understand how proud the relatives are whenever one of their kin achieves something. What I am just pointing out is it comes to a point that it becomes excessive. Moreover, the excessive number of tarpaulins make our small city untidy. It's a sore sight when tarpaulins are crowded in a small space. I also wish that those who put them up take them down after a few months. The tarps don't rot, they contribute to the large volume of trash in the city.

12. Do our legislators actually make ordinances to improve our city?


I have no idea.


13. Do we have private industries here that employ a significant number of people?

I haven't heard one yet.